It’s been 7 years since my backpacking adventure through Australia. I was 24 and I was ready for something new after 7 years in London. I needed to for fill my dream. Australia had been on my bucketlist forever. And I wanted to do it alone. My, Myself and my backpack. Many of you who are reading this have been or still want to backpack through the land of kangaroos. And let me tell you; It’s the best thing you’ll ever do.
Plan your trip
First things first, you need to pick a date. When will you leave, and when will you return. If you are visiting Australia on a tourist visa, you can stay for a period of 3 months. If you want to stay longer, you need to get yourself a student or working visa which can last for 6 or up to 12 months. Get your visum here. Also think about the period in which you want to go. I came to Australia during their summer months Nov-Jan but bare in mind it’s high season and it can get really busy along the East coast of Australia.
Ok, this might be something you need to thoroughly think about. Depending on how long you’ve got, and how much you want to see. If you have 3 months (apply for a tourist Visa) and you want to see everything, then I highly recommend you to take the following route:
Start in Perth (West coast) fly to » Alice Springs (Northern/middle territory) Take the Ghan Train to » Adelaide (South) and continue your way up to » Melbourne and eventually to » Sydney. From Sydney, you can explore the east coast all the way up to Cairns.
In this article though, I will tell you about the West coast and the Outback.
Most backpackers will travel along the East coast of Australia but this is where you miss out! You should definitely visit the West coast of Australia.
Why? Because is so so beautiful. I flew to Perth which was only a 16 hours flight (compared to the 21 hours flight to Sydney!) Perth is a great starting point. It’s a clean, beautiful city with amazing surroundings and the nicest people. From Perth I traveled down to Dunsborough where I swam with wild dolphins. An experience that I will never forget. At the time it cost me 185 dollars and I did it with this tour. Near Dunsborough is the infamous Margaret river, one of the best surf spots in the world. There have been a few great white shark attacks in this area so you need to be a bit of a daredevil if you want to go surfing out there.
Where to stay?
If you’re backpacking, you should definitely stay in hostels. You can’t compare Australia with Asia where you can easily get a room for only 6 euro’s per night. In Australia, a shared room will cost you around 25 Australian dollars (15 euro’s). It’s a good thing to get yourself a YHA card. With this card you can sleep in all the YHA’s in the world and it gives you a discount at YHA hostels. The card cost 25 Australian dollars for 1 year and you can get it here.
If you want to see the real Australia, you must visit the outback. (Northern Territory) Endless roads with red sand surrounding you.
I flew from Perth to Alice Springs and booked an organised 3 day tour called Mulgas Adventures. I got a great deal at the time but my fellow group members all paid different prices through different travel agencies so check this before you book. In a jeep with a small group of 6, we saw Uluru (Ayers Rock), The Olga’s and Kings Canyon. I was completely stunned by the beauty of this place.
If you want to see the real Australia, you must visit the outback.
On this tour, you are sleeping in an exclusive separate camp so you won’t have to share tents with hurdles of tourist. Instead, you sleep in a sleepingbag (zwags) in the dessert, prepare your own food and enjoy a shower with a view. (most camps don’t have showers so this was luxury!) Be prepared to live without wifi for the whole tour but let me tell you, you won’t even think about it!
What to bring to the outback?
Come prepared for this trip! There are a few essentials that will make your stay in the outback as pleasant as possible.
»Small backpack for day trips
»Water bag (you need to drink up to 2 liters a day)
For more cool travel gadgets check here.
Next week I will show you about the best way to travel to the south and I will tell you which city I loved more. Melbourne or Sydney?